Angela Y. Davis / Tschabalala Self

Art on the Frontline: Mandate for a People's Culture

In her stirring essay ‘Art on the Frontline', scholar and activist Angela Davis asked, ‘How do we collectively acknowledge our popular cultural legacy and communicate it to the masses of people, most of whom have been denied access to the social spaces reserved for arts and culture?' Looking to the cultural forms born of Afro-American struggles, Davis insists that we attempt to understand, reclaim and glean insight from these in preparing a political offensive against the racial oppression inherent to capitalism.

Working from a site of racial uprising some thirty-five years later, artist Tschabalala Self responds to Davis's words with a new series of characteristically vibrant, challenging and provocative works on paper. Her series of three individual subjects emerge collectively as something greater than their parts, suggesting in the ebbs and flows in joy and disdain a kind of shared social consciousness. 

The Two Works series engages with the visual artwork’s potential for productive encounter with text, and its participation in regimes of thought and communication beyond the visual.

Published by Afterall Books and Konig

Designed by Pacific


80 pages

6 × 8 ¼ inches